Following February’s devastating earthquake in Türkiye, the first people began moving into tented accommodation provided by NATO on Monday.
Located in Antakya, the temporary relief site will provide housing, food and water for up to 2,400 people seeking shelter. NATO is also setting up temporary shelters in Iskenderun and Defne for thousands left homeless by the earthquakes.
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Christopher Cavoli, marked the handover of the Antakya facility from NATO to Türkiye on Wednesday.
With many schools damaged in the quake-hit provinces, the first to move in were 100 Turkish schoolchildren and their teachers. The Turkish authorities will manage the site, which will primarily function as a boarding school. The shelters, built by NATO’s Support and Procurement Agency, also include heating, power generators and medical treatment areas.
NATO Allies and partners have been supporting Türkiye’s earthquake relief efforts for months. As part of a NATO air bridge, Allies and partners have also flown some 10,000 tents, blankets and pieces of medical equipment to Türkiye. NATO also supported Turkish hospitals, including with X-ray facilities.
Thousands of emergency responders from across the Alliance have been engaged in the relief efforts, as has invitee Sweden, and partners including Japan. The earthquakes that struck Türkiye earlier this year were the deadliest natural disaster on Alliance territory since NATO’s foundation.